Former Mansfield school superintendent facing larceny charges - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Former Mansfield school superintendent facing larceny charges

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Former Mansfield school superintendent facing larceny charges (Police) Former Mansfield school superintendent facing larceny charges (Police)

A former school superintendent facing larceny charges, is accused of putting taxpaying dollars in his pocket by over-billing his district for trips he didn’t take.

Eyewitness News first dug into these allegations last year, and more than one year later he has been charged.

Connecticut State Police used information from Eyewitness News to put the pieces together, and now former Mansfield superintendent of schools Fred Baruzzi admitted that he didn’t even make some of the trips he said he did.

Neither Baruzzi nor his lawyer spoke on the allegations that he overpaid himself nearly $90,000 over the course of five years by falsifying mileage records.

The investigation started after egregious filings where Baruzzi essentially reported that he drove 2,000 miles each week.

It didn’t add up for a Mansfield town councilor either. When she saw that Baruzzi was reimbursed an additional $30,000 in the 2012-13 fiscal year, and an additional $22,000 the next year, she went to state police.

“Upset, because for us taxpayers, it comes out of our pocket,” said Brenda Godin of Mansfield.

Baruzzi initially said he went from Mansfield to places in Hamden, Cheshire and the Institute of Technology and Business Development in New Britain.

Police documents show Connecticut State Police went to, printed a photo of Baruzzi from the story online and showed it to people who confirmed they never saw him step foot inside the institute.

“If you're taking money away from the town, it's not really a good thing, or something a superintendent should be doing,” said Danielle Hartog of Mansfield.

In all, police said Baruzzi was overpaid by more than $89,000.

When police dug deeper, court documents showed Baruzzi started to reimburse the district, paying more than $70,000.

Court documents said “roughly $39,000 was to cover the remaining mileage for the trips to ITBD, which he admitted he did not make and that he falsified the mileage reports.”

With potential prison time looming, taxpayers said they are wondering why it took five years before someone caught on.

“Very sad, that someone in an educational position would take advantage,” said John Lenard of Mansfield.

Eyewitness News reached out to Mansfield officials to see if all of the $89,000 was returned, but has not heard back.

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